Basic First Aid – Applying a Poultice

Below is some advice for applying a poultice at home. You should contact us if you have an emergency with your pet such as difficulty breathing, moderate-severe bleeding, collapse, broken bones, seizures, eye injuries or head injuries.

Always assess the situation for any safety hazards before assisting your pet- do not put yourself in danger.

Applying a poultice

Applying a poultice can be a useful way of removing small foreign bodies from paws – for example: grass seeds, thorns and splinters. Veterinary care should be sought if there is any pus, swelling or heat around the paw, if there is unremitting pain/lameness, or if the foreign body has not been extracted within 24 hours of applying the poultice.


Boil water and leave this to cool to a comfortable but warm temperature. Immerse a wad of cotton wool big enough to cover your pet’s paw in the water so that it is soggy. Wrap the cotton wool around the affected foot and then cover this in cling film. Secure the poultice with bandaging tape. Take extra care to ensure that the tape securing the poultice is not too tight. If any swelling occurs, remove the poultice immediately. Do not leave the poultice on for longer than 24 hours.

If the foreign body does not appear to have made its way out, seek veterinary attention.